The castle of Rumbeke

The castle got its name from the town where it is located, Rumbeke, in the province of West Flanders, Belgium. It is now one of the oldest Renaissance castles in the country.

Picture by Frank Polet

Although most of the building was done in the Renaissance period, the original fortress is much older. According to a legend, Baldwin Iron Arm, Count of Flanders, kidnapped Judith, the daughter of Charles the Bald in 862 in Senlis and brought her to the fortress that used to be at the very location where the present castle now stands. With the intervention of the Pope, the two lovers married in Auxerre, which then resulted in the creation of the County of Flanders, what is now the north of Belgium.

Later, the castle was owned by the counts of Thiennes and Limburg Stirum for centuries. The castle suffered a lot of damage during the invasion of Flanders by the French king Louis XIV, as well as during the French Revolution and in both World Wars more than a century later. During World War I, it was taken over by the German army and became for a short period of time, the home of Baron Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron, who was credited for shooting down 80 enemy aircraft's in his brightly red painted airplane.

Picture by Frank Polet

The castle is also used as a location for the movie That Lucky Touch made in 1975, starring Roger Moore and Shelley Winters.